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Republicans Call for Oregon Protesters to ‘Stand Down Peaceably’

Republicans Call for Oregon Protesters to ‘Stand Down Peaceably’

Rubio and Cruz weigh in

Two Republican presidential candidates have spoken out against the Oregon standoff: Senators Cruz and Rubio.

Aleister blogged about the precarious Oregon situation yesterday:

Protesters have taken over a small federal building in Oregon and some of them are armed. One of them is Ammon Bundy, son of rancher Cliven Bundy who was in the news last year for clashing with federal authorities over land use.

The reason for the protest seems to be two-fold. The situation which set off the protest was the prosecution of a pair of father and son ranchers named Hammond. The Hammonds are not part of the protest however and are expected to surrender themselves to authorities Monday for separate charges.

The second aspect of the protest is a grievance over the federal government taking over land that used to be owned by ranchers.

In an interview on Iowa radio station KBUR Monday, Sen. Rubio acknowledged the federal government has too much control over land in the western half of the country, but urged protestors to seek a lawful remedy:

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also addressed the issue Monday, telling an Iowa radio station “you cannot be lawless.”

Rubio said during an interview with KBUR that he agrees “that there is too much federal control over land especially out in the western part of the United States.”

“We should fix it, but no one should be doing it in a way that’s outside the law,” he added.

Rubio’s full remarks are here:

Later, Sen. Cruz too called for protestors to ‘stand down peaceably.’

NBC News reported:

“Every one of us has a constitutional right to protest, to speak our minds,” Cruz told reporters in Iowa. “But we don’t have a constitutional right to use force and violence and to threaten force and violence against others. So it is our hope that the protesters there will stand down peaceably, that there will not be a violent confrontation.”

Cruz’s remarks Monday differ from 2014 when the Bundy standoff was last in national headlines. Then, Cruz referred to the standoff as an, “unfortunate and tragic culmination of the path that President Obama has set the federal government on.”

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Too much control indeed. It owns too much. How can a state really be a state if the federal gov owns most of the land? The feds won’t stop until all can be controlled by them.

President Cruz should issue his first pardons to the Hammonds, who are victims of truly crazy over-charging by Federal prosecutors.

    Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | January 4, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    I don’t know about pardons, but certainly he should commute their sentences to time served — and initiate an internal inquiry into their case, to find out exactly who decided to treat them so badly, and why. More importantly, he should give clear orders that there is to be no more such nonsense. If someone doesn’t want to sell his land, that’s his prerogative, and any federal employee who decides to harass him for it needs to be fired.

I doubt any land in question used to be owned by ranchers. It is public land — my land — managed by the BLM and leased by ranchers for grazing for a paltry sum. The land had so little value that no rancher would homestead or buy it; thus, the feds retain ownership.

    Ah, yes and according to some, the Fed’s own all our land and we only have a limited right to live on it!

    Is that your point of view? What about privately owned land west of the Mississippi River, is there any such?

    Or, is it all BLM owned land?

    Does that include the ares in and around these cities: LA, SF, San Diego, Hollywood, Seattle?

    Facts matter!

      mariner in reply to Doug Wright. | January 4, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      Facts Matter!

      No, they don’t. We just wish they did.

      We may as well wish the Constitution mattered.

      Milhouse in reply to Doug Wright. | January 4, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      There is certainly privately owned land. Nobody disputes that the Hammonds’ ranch is theirs. But the BLM land is not, and the wildlife refuge is certainly not.

    If you are interested here are the facts. They couldn’t be more opposite from your assumptions and assertions in your post.

    jakee308 in reply to Skookum. | January 4, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    You don’t know what you’re talking about. Do some reading on the history of this conflict. One brought about by those in control of the agency of Wildlife Management. (or whatever blanket org they’re operating under.

    “Best to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

    Estragon in reply to Skookum. | January 4, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    “Paltry sum?” The land in question has no value at all save for grazing, and is marginal for that. Traditionally, a very nominal fee was charged for grazing rights just to prevent disputes. In recent years, the SJ/Green Warriors have taken over & wish to stop this reasonable use.

    I don’t condone the tactics used here or previously, but there is no defense for BLM. A top-to-bottom housecleaning is overdue.

      Milhouse in reply to Estragon. | January 4, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      This is certainly true. The government created this mess; none of this had to happen. But none of what has happened justifies the invasion of what is undisputedly federal land.

Interesting. These protestors are more peaceful and less disruptive and damaging than Occupy Wall Street but they must stand down? From what exactly…occupying a deserted building on land nobody even visits?

    Milhouse in reply to gwsjr425. | January 4, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Well, yes. They aren’t entitled to do that. And they say they plan to stay there for years and distribute the land to various people to ranch, log, etc.

(The following is just my opinion, double check facts first) Federally-owned land such as this cannot simply be turned into open range, where anybody who wants can graze as many cattle as they want, or the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ effect kicks in, and the land is stripped bare. If the Feds forbid any grazing, the grass grows thick and green… and dry enough for the first stroke of summer lightning to sweep into a huge inferno, so that’s not an option either. So the BLM sold ranchers grazing rights and water rights, which are treated as property, able to be traded and passed down to heirs and giving each owner the right to graze X number of cattle on certain sections of land.

So far, so good. With proper management provided by the ranchers, the grass stays the right height to prevent a fire hazard or erosion problem, the water sources are developed to provide drinking water without destroying streambanks, plus the BLM gets ‘rent’ every year. Win/Win.

Recently the BLM has decided the nice green grass the ranchers have been using to graze cows for most of a century really needs to be turned into a nature preserve, and they want those little bits of improved property (water and grazing rights) the BLM sold so long ago back, if only those darned pesky ranchers would be willing to sell them for the pittance the BLM is offering. First, the BLM tried to simply take them back and write the ranchers a check for the original value, but the ranchers (to no surprise) refused. Then the BLM simply tried to hand-wave the rights away, and several judges stomped them. At this point, the BLM displayed all the gentle grace of an offended mobster and proceeded to pressure the ranchers to sell. Grazing rights were arbitrarily reduced. Watering improvements were destroyed as ‘unapproved.’ Cows were confiscated and destroyed. And the most recent indignity, a pair of ranchers who set controlled pasture burns with approval on their property were convicted of arson (?!) sent to jail, and then when they got out and refused to bow to BLM’s request for their property again, were sent back to jail.

Yeah, I can understand why the ranchers are peaved. I’m just wondering how long it will be until the nature reserve the BLM created gets so full of dry grass that it has a lightning-sparked fire which burns it from one end to another.

    betty in reply to georgfelis. | January 4, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    The BLM has been forcing ranchers, by one nasty trick or another, to SELL their land to the BLM.

    The BLM had the court force the ranch owners in this dispute give the BLM the first right of refusal if they ever decide to sell their land.

    How does that square up with your idea that this land is “Federally-owned”?

      Milhouse in reply to betty. | January 4, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      Because the land in question isn’t on their ranch. There’s no dispute that it’s federal land. And the wildlife refuge that has been occupied is certainly federal land.

    One problem with your theory/opinion: the land in question has been privately-owned since the 1870s, with grazing and water rights going back almost as far. The “irrigation” system (of improved rivers and streams throughout) was developed collectively by the private-land-owning ranchers back then. The Hammonds have owned it — and the grazing and water rights to both that land and a sizable portion of the adjacent “public” land — since the 1960s.

    So, no. It’s not about grazing rights on federally-owned land. It’s about the using tremendously under-handed tricks and law-fare tactics to acquire private land from owners who aren’t willing to sell.

    Also, the Hammonds were sentenced and served their time, and now they’re going back to prison to re-serve additional sentencing for the same “crime”? How is this not a violation of double-jeopardy?

      Milhouse in reply to Archer. | January 4, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      the land in question has been privately-owned since the 1870s,

      No, it hasn’t. It’s public land adjacent to the Hammonds’ ranch.

      So, no. It’s not about grazing rights on federally-owned land. It’s about the using tremendously under-handed tricks and law-fare tactics to acquire private land from owners who aren’t willing to sell.

      That may be the feds’ motive, and if so it’s despicable. But it doesn’t change the fact that the land in question isn’t on their ranch, and the wildlife refuge certainly isn’t on their ranch.

      Also, the Hammonds were sentenced and served their time, and now they’re going back to prison to re-serve additional sentencing for the same “crime”? How is this not a violation of double-jeopardy?

      Because they were only in jeopardy once. They were only tried and convicted once. Nothing in the constitution says that a sentence can’t be revisited. Double jeopardy means the government can’t appeal an acquittal; but it can certainly appeal a sentence.

Hopefully this protest will only be a guarded “sit in” that ends well.

Those in the race for the WH will of course want them to stand down. They do not want public opinion to turn against them. Not now anyway.

“Climate change” could turn out to be a massive land grab. Environmentalists are not only crazed they also hate humans. They will take Earth over humans any day. They are the ones who need psychiatric help.

We can only hope that Loretta Lynch is no Janet Reno.

There is NO standoff. A standoff requires an opposing contingent trying to make those held up somewhere do something or not do something.

These people are conducting a sit in, in a previously unoccupied building out in the middle of freaking nowhere. That is hardly a standoff.

They could be described as squatters in an otherwise empty unused building.

Naturally, the new media wants to describe it as more because these are not “approved” protesters occupying an otherwise empty building. These are not left wing anarchists, but citizens who believe in limited government.

Here are the facts of the Hammond’s story:

Cruz is playing the wishy washy politician afraid to stand up even as much as Rubio did. President Trump is keeping his powder dry for as long as he can, which is the wise thing to do.

I suggest ya’ll read this for the backstory:

    Milhouse in reply to LBascom. | January 4, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    That site makes the blatantly false and dishonest claim, common to many on the crazy fringe of the “right”, that the constitution prohibits the federal government from owning land, except for the purposes listed in the Eclusive Legislation clause of art I § 8. That make its account of the facts also suspect and untrustworthy.

Well one thing I think we can all agree on is that America will sleep better tonight knowing that 2 convicted terrorist ranchers who used fires to threaten our national security are now behind bars. Because if we don’t make a stand now, there is no doubt that any one of us could wake up some day in the future and find our backyards burning and a rancher dressed in black planting the ISIS flag right in our front yard.

Then what will you do? Don’t go crying to the federal government then. It will be too late. The terrorists will have won.

The only entity that should have the right to set fires that get out of control and burn lands they don’t own is the federal government:

    Milhouse in reply to gulfbreeze. | January 4, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Bravo. You had me there for a second. Whatever the rights or wrongs of the situation, the feds’ rhetoric is ridiculously overblown.

Rubio says, “You cannot be lawless.”

But the Federal Government is lawless; so what’s the remedy?

    Milhouse in reply to Eskyman. | January 4, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    The remedy, in extremis, is to resist government lawlessness, not to take revenge by engaging in unrelated lawlessness of ones own.

I’m surprised at Cruz. I thought he was more politically savvy than this. That he shared his actions with Rubio only points out what I’ve been saying for a while; Cruz is just a stealth Rubio, his actions in the Senate don’t jibe with his words during the campaign.

And now he reveals the depths of his lack of knowledge, his true philosophy and lack of understanding of the underlying anger and fear of the American Patriot.

Cruz’s remarks Monday differ from 2014 when the Bundy standoff was last in national headlines. Then, Cruz referred to the standoff as an, “unfortunate and tragic culmination of the path that President Obama has set the federal government on.”

I don’t see the difference. The Bundy standoff was defensive; they were there to prevent federal action (whether legal or not) against Bundy and his property. I don’t recall Cruz taking a position on the law, but merely noting that it didn’t have to come to this, and it was 0bama’s fault that it had.

In this case, though, it’s the “patriots” who are undisputedly engaging in violence, invading and occupying property that nobody doubts belongs to the federal government, and declaring their intention to distribute it to various people. Whatever injustices have been done to the Hammonds can’t justify this. They have the right to protest the Hammonds’ arrest; perhaps even to try to prevent it; but not to steal federal property in revenge.

The Cruz and Rubio “call for Oregon Protesters to ‘Stand Down Peaceably'” has the same effect as when the Pope calls for peace. None.

That’s a pretty good round-up of the legal and historical stuff behind the Sagebrush Rebellion, and how it can readily be fixed to the benefit of everyone via a few common-sensical steps.

    Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | January 5, 2016 at 1:16 am

    “…and how it can readily be fixed to the benefit of everyone via a few common-sensical steps.”

    Good luck with that.

    I hope these folks have the common sense to keep this a protest, civil unrest, and leave the weapons home. Otherwise they will do more damage to their position than help.

Have any of you run cattle on federal land or watched your neighbor’s farm, home, etc taken by a National Park?

You have no choice but give up the land they want. You lose everything if you resist and you lose everything if you don’t but at least you (usually) don’t go to jail.

They try every underhanded trick in the book. Arson, blocking your roads, not allowing you to use your own land, declaring land you’ve improved and used for generations and now depend upon to be ‘off limits’. The feds are relentless and will stop at nothing. It took a hundred guys with guns and cameras to stop them last time.

For those advocating a ‘peaceful solution’ or ‘peaceful resolution’ there is none except surrender. Read that again. The only peaceful solution the government allows is total and unconditional surrender with everything they want. And sometimes they still put you in jail and confiscate everything you own.

I’ve worked cattle on federal land, I’ve watched my neighbors lose their property. I’ve seen them close roads to try and force people out. There is no peaceful solution except surrender. Get that through your heads. It took the threat of violence for them to back down with the Bundy’s.

Here’s the terrible part. I don’t think this is a cause sufficient for armed resistance. Because eventually someday five, ten or fifty years from now the feds will be back and take that land. It will happen and you have no recourse. If they have to break the law to do it they have and will. What is the use in being ‘Ruby Ridged’ for a few acres even if your great grandfather homesteaded it? The Indians learned that lesson hundreds of years ago. You cannot fight the state when it really wants your land.

My advice. Go home. Right now the feds are only punishing some ranchers to show they can. The family is ruined anyway and they have already been brutalized by the prison system.

If a senator wanted to give the land to some investors or something they would already have sent in armed men. They were just practicing their usual SOP of screwing with the ranchers. Not worth a bullet or jail. Go home. And realize if they want your land or to keep you off land you’ve worked since US Grant was President they can and will take it.

    Milhouse in reply to forksdad. | January 5, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    You seem not to understand that “land you’ve improved and used for generations and now depend upon” is not yours. The owner has every right to revoke or limit your grazing permits. It may be bad policy, but it’s within the owner’s rights, and you have no right to resist. You certainly don’t have the right to take revenge by forcibly occupying property he has 30 miles away, which has nothing to do with your dispute.

    The prosecution claimed, and presented evidence, that the Hammonds deliberately set a fire on public land, to cover up illegal hunting. That story may be complete BS, but you don’t know that. None of us who weren’t there know what really happened. We are not bound to accept the jury’s decision that it was arson, but in the absence of any proof against it we should at least allow for the possibility that it may be true.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Milhouse. | January 5, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      You seem not to understand that the people own that land not the federal government and especially not the BLM and DGF.

        Milhouse in reply to healthguyfsu. | January 5, 2016 at 4:00 pm

        Which “people” do you imagine own the land, and by what right?

        The land in question is rightfully and legally owned by the federal government, not by any “people”.

      forksdad in reply to Milhouse. | January 5, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      Sorry you’re wrong again. But why would that be a surprise? If they can simply take your land and declare that it is not yours. Or close your access roads in and out or start fires you can’t even fight. ON YOUR LAND, then sure it’s not ‘yours’.

      The feds taking land and making it their own certainly makes it ‘not yours’. Just as if they came for your car or your house.

      By your posting you know less than nothing about this situation that has been going on since before your grandfather was in diapers. The feds take land where and when they wish. If you think that makes the land ‘not yours’, then you are a toady. If not you have ‘heavy ears’.

        Milhouse in reply to forksdad. | January 5, 2016 at 4:03 pm

        We are not talking about private property. We are talking about land that belongs to the federal government, and that you and your ancestors have been using with its permission. That land is not yours and you have no more right to it than I do, or than the government has to your land. The feds did not take it from you, it was never yours. That “you’ve improved and used for generations and now depend upon” it makes no difference at all.

          Barry in reply to Milhouse. | January 5, 2016 at 10:51 pm

          I am ignorant of who owns what and what rights are owned by whom.

          OTOH, this is simply a war on ranchers, because. There is simply no reason not to allow the land to be put to use.

          Milhouse, you are on record castigating trump for supporting eminent domain. Here, you seem to make the case that the feds can and should do whatever the hell they want, because the “law”. How do you square the two positions given both are the “law”?

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | January 7, 2016 at 3:55 am

          WTH are you talking about?

          1. Trump deserves to be castigated for trying to abuse eminent domain to take someone’s land for his private use.

          2. The land here belongs to the feds. It’s their land, not the ranchers’, so of course they can do whatever they want with it. Why on earth shouldn’t they? And what’s it got to do with eminent domain? In fact what’s remarkable is that the feds have not exercised eminent domain to buy out the Hammonds or the other ranchers. If they had this dispute would never have happened.

          Barry in reply to Milhouse. | January 7, 2016 at 6:38 pm


          First you castigate trump because he supported eminent domain when it was to his benefit, then you think the gov should have taken the ranchers land by the same method, just because.

          Hypocrisy be thy name. That is what I’m talking about.